Latino community gears up for universal health care fight

CHICAGO -- Thirty- five community and church leaders met in the First Spanish Congregational Church of Chicago to discuss Single Payer Universal Health Care legislation in Illinois and Congress. This was the second meeting of a group of concerned citizens who have begun an informational campaign explaining what and how a universal health system benefits the Latino and other communities.

Dr. Nike Mourikes, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), an organization of 15,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance, Dr. Anne Scheetz, also a member of PNHP and the Illinois Single Payer Coalition, and community activists Oscar Delgado and Sijisfredo Aviles led the discussion and collected petitions from all of the participants to send to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Participants agreed that there was great opposition from corporate and insurance lobbyist who advocate the continuation of the present health system that promotes profits for health providers and not universal health service for all who live in the country regardless of income and health care needs.

The struggle to pass Rep. John Conyers’ bill, HR 676, a single-payer health care system also called Medicare For All, is an uphill fight, the activists said, but they are willing to fight to have health care accepted as a human right in the United States.

The participants made the commitment to do more outreach, forums and petition drives within the Latino community and prepare more Spanish-speaking presenters.